Recipes Desserts Basics Perfect Pound Cake

Perfect Pound Cake

Perfect Pound Cake is rated 2.3 out of 5 by 3.
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12

Cookbook author Ina Garten considers herself a pound cake aficionado. She loves the simplicity of it: flour, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. This recipe takes a bit of extra time to make because of the sifting, but it really does make the texture more delicate. Serve the cake with tea in the afternoon or for dessert with some fresh berries and a dollop of crème fraîche.

Ingredients:

  • Baking spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy
  • 1/4 cup demerara or turbinado sugar
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp. grated orange zest (2 oranges)
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Do not preheat the oven. Place a rack in the oven so the cake will sit in the center. Generously spray a 12-cup tube pan (not one with a removable bottom!) or 2 loaf pans (each 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches) with the baking spray to coat evenly. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar, tilting the pan or pans to make an even coating of the sugar over the bottom and sides. Set aside.

Combine the sifted cake flour and salt and pass the mixture through a sieve or a sifter from one bowl into another 3 times. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until the mixture is light yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, vanilla seeds and orange zest. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the cream and beginning and ending with flour, and scraping down the sides of the bowl to combine. (Don’t worry if it looks a little curdled.) Increase the speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes. The batter should be very light and fluffy.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans, smooth the top and place in the cold oven. Turn the oven to 350°F and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the cake, rounded side up, to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serves 12.

Notes: Measure sifted flour by spooning it lightly into the measuring cup. If your kitchen is cooler than 72°F, you might have to soften the butter for a few seconds in the microwave.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, by Ina Garten (Clarkson/Potter Publishers, 2012).

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Waste of time and ingredients In search of a good pound cake recipe I decided to give this recipe a go. I'm a big fan of Ina but this recipe was a disaster. It took a longer time to bake and the texture was crumbly I have never made a cake that flaked like a pastry. I was so upset and disappointed with this cake I just dumped it in the bin. What a waste of time and ingredients. I almost forgot the cake formed a hard crust it was like a protective shield around the cake and the bottom was still a bit raw inside . Please take my advice don't try this recipe recipe I repeat DO NoT try this recipe. Ina has a lot of other good recipes like carrot pineapple cake and orange pound cake to name few this one just isn't it. 
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it with a little tweaking! Loved this pound cake but it does need a little tweaking. I made it twice. The first time i made it per directions. I found you need to mix it more after adding the flour. While the recipe says 3 minutes it needs more than that. Because of that and a few other things, the cake had a dense almost uncooked bottom but but the middle and top part tasted great! So I thought I'd try it again. This time I used regular large eggs, and made sure I mixed it on medium high speed more than 3 minutes until the batter was light and fluffy. Like the other reviewer it does need to cook longer. Even though it looked done I still must have cooked it about 10 to 15 minutes longer that the directions. I think it also makes a difference with your oven, mine took a long time to get to 350. The actual cooking time at 350 was only about 45 minutes. It needs more than that. Also I used Fiori di Sicilia extract instead of oranges and it was amazing! The second time was a charm and the cake was fantastic.
Date published: 2013-07-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from This "perfect pound cake" wasn't. I baked in two bread pans which took 67 minutes (not 50-55) to test-probe crumbs rather than wet batter. The crust looked beautiful, but then it start to crack. And then I noticed a gap between the perfect baked cake and the perfect baked crust. And it wasn't a tiny gap. This was a 1/2" gap which couldn't be pressed down because it had baked into a thin crispy cookie layer that shattered when moved. The crust had formed a self-supporting shell over the loaf--like the enchanted protective shield over Hogwarts or volcanic magna which cools into a dangerously thin sheet over molten lava capable of searing flesh off. Yep...just like that. Except with sugar and fat. Who can you trust when "recipes you can trust" can't be trusted? I brought the "perfect pound cake" into work, but it is a sad, anemic-looking thing. Mainly because the "golden brown crust" that makes a cake a cake is sitting in my garbage can. Perfect Pound Cake? I think not.
Date published: 2013-04-20
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